If you’re on the lookout for the best tattoo shops in Milan, then you’ve come to the right place. This guide aims to whittle down the countless options for would-be tat goers to just a handful. It’s tricky business in a city with such a long and rich artistic and cultural heritage, where even the buildings and the sidewalks are hailed as a work of art.
But we’ve done it, highlighting five fine tattoo shops in Milan that we think stand out from the crowd. And you won’t have to just take our word for it, either. Our methodology has been to pick out the places that have garnered glowing reviews and plaudits, either from past customers who are happy with their skin ink or from industry commentators who think there’s something special and unique about the tattooing that goes on there.
Our list of the best tattoo shops in Milan has also tried to focus on establishments that have convenient locations for fly-in, fly-out travelers on a city breaks. Yes, you might be lucky enough to call this great town of soaring Gothic church spires your forever home, but most people pass through in just three or four days. This guide will show that getting a tat done doesn’t have to mean straying miles from the Piazza del Duomo. Let’s begin…
The Tattoo Shop Milano
The Tattoo Shop Milano has to be one of the most storied tattoo parlors in the whole city. It’s got a past that goes back all the way to the mid-80s and in-house artists that can claim pedigree from some of the leading tat shops in Amsterdam, one of the main tattoo centers of Europe, no less. That all comes through in the quality – the place has nearly 120 reviews that add up to a total score of 4.8/5 on Google, along with honorable mentions in a range of tattoo-related publications.
We also LOVE the way it looks. Behind a neon-lit entrance that’s full-on vintage barbershop, the space opens into a colorful reception room with tiled floors that recall the bold street art of Brazil and South America. There are 1950s diner stools and art of all sorts scrawled over the walls. It sets the scene perfectly for those sessions under the buzz gun!
There’s a varied focus to the art styles that are practiced by the crew. They include Japanese artistry and tribal tattooing, which draws heavily on the motifs and techniques of eastern Asia. There’s also a big focus on occult and skull tattoos, along with classic 1800s army and rockabilly design. The upshot? These guys should be able to take care of pretty much anything you come looking for.
The main issue we can envisage here will be getting a spot in the first place. Bookings at The Tattoo Shop Milano are understandably in high demand. We’d recommend getting in touch well before you arrive in the fashion capital of Italia to ensure you’re not left disappointed.
Amanda Toy Tattoo Parlour
There’s a truly playful vibe to the parlor run by Amanda Toy. Billing herself as a tattoo artist come trendsetter, she follows a cartoony aesthetic that’s all about bold, bright coloring and childlike designs. Her shop is part art gallery, part tattoo space, showcasing collections of the artist’s own unique creations – we especially love the oddly colored “Unicorn Poop” and the arrays of splatted popsicles that come under the Candyland selection.
The ink here follows a similar pattern to the above. It’s comical and merry, with a zippy use of primary colors and hues, from blush tomato red to daffodil yellow. Previous works include caricature portraits of puppies and princesses, along with fantasy animals (yes – plenty of unicorns!) and dreamland visions.
The parlor itself is also something a little out of the ordinary. You’ll duck into a space that feels plucked from the world of the Power Puff Girls. It’s pink and white from head to toe, with kitschy animal rugs on the floor and lion-themed cushions adorning rocking chairs. We can’t help but feel it’s a little like going down the rabbit hole!
The Amanda Toy Tattoo Parlour sits on the western side of the Milan downtown core. It’s just north of the Corso Vercelli – one of the city’s main fashion shopping areas – but also easily accessed via the Conciliazione metro stop a few minutes’ walking to the east.
Man’s Ruin Tattoo Club
The compact and bijou outlet at Man’s Ruin Tattoo Club isn’t huge and isn’t mega famous. But they’ve been quietly gaining a reputation for solid work from their home base on the north side of the city for some years now. They also have a track run of successful tattooing in a whole host of different styles, from large-scale back works to full sleeves to small souvenir tattoos.
One of the other things we really like about this one is that it’s within easy striking distance of many of the main tourist sights and transport interchanges of good old Milano. Sat on Via Antonio Pollaiuolo, the establishment is a quick walk north of the bustling Porto Garibaldi train station and only a stop or two on the local buses to the west of Milano Centrale train station. It’s perfect if you’re only changing over in Milan and want to get some artwork done in the fashion capital while you wait.
As we’ve mentioned, the space is tight-knit and relatively small. Patrons will enter into a waiting room that’s basic but clean. There are in-house design ideas adorning the walls and single tattooing area behind a medium partition. Man’s Ruin can get busy but it’s not in the thick of the city center so can usually handle walk-ins better than most. We’d still recommend calling ahead to check that, though.
Tattoo and Jewels
Tattoo and Jewels is a relatively new addition to the line up of the best tattoo shops in Milan. It first flung open its doors to the Bullona area on the northwest fringes of Chinatown in 2016. That’s been enough time for it to turn some heads with its quirky and bold offering of skin ink and piercing, though, and now a whopping 115 people can vouch for its quality and care by offering an overall Google rating of 4.9/5.
There’s certainly something unique about the spot. You can see that even when it’s closed – a big graffiti mural of everyone’s favorite tattoo muse, the sailor Popeye, and his wife, Olive, adorns the shutters. During opening times, would-be patrons are beckoned into a space that’s bright and minimalist, with haunting skull motifs decorating the back walls and moody sepia photography dotted all around.
There are two in-house tattooists. The first is Gio, who does work in fine line and cartoon styles, often focusing on playful designs that incorporate elements of humor and pop culture. The other is Roby, who’s known for creative use of color in works that blend the sacred and the profane, the comic and the deathly – think two skeletons sharing a smoke, or kissing sailors to a background of blazing sunsets over the sea.
Ligera Ink Tattoo Milano
Down on Via Jacopo Palma past the Viale Misurata ring road that hems in the old city, the Ligera Ink Tattoo Milano is a parlor that’s cut its teeth offering quality works to a largely local crowd. We can say quality because the establishment also enjoys that coveted 4.9/5 Google rating from a following of over 400 reviews. And we say local because the position means that this one is usually a touch far from the tourist haunts to be a drop-in locale for souvenir tattoos.
Sure enough, the past portfolio that’s showcased by the in-house artists is pretty impressive, anchoring on some fantastic large-scale works that incorporate touches of photorealism. Some examples would be the eye-catching renditions of Roman-era ruins, the sketch works of glowering eagles, the portraiture style employed to create haunting visions of Egyptian mythological figures – we could go on and on.
Calling ahead is usually a good idea if you’re keen to get inked down at the Ligera Ink Tattoo Milano. As we’ve mentioned, that loyal following of locals usually means the schedule is a touch tight. You’ll also need to do some legwork to get there from the heart of the downtown. The best way is to hop on the red metro line to Bande Nere station and then walk from there – it’s between 5-10 minutes by foot in total.
The best tattoo shops in Milan – our conclusion
Milan has no shortage of tattoo shops, that’s for sure. This is the fashion capital of Italy – nay, the world – after all. For some, the height of fashion is edgy skin ink and designs that will turn the eye. And so it is that you get a whole range of off-beat and groundbreaking artistry in this sector, ranging from pop art sketchers who can do unicorn designs to classic tattooists that complete full-back motifs based on Norse mythology and Italian history.
This guide outlines just five options based on past reviews. It’s important that anyone keen to get inked here does their own research into every establishment to ensure it’s the right one for them. There are also loads more choices in the big city, so be sure to look around before booking in.